Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Feb 11, 2020

    My students are putting in abysmal effort lately, and I’m feeling like a failure of a teacher. I know that’s not really true, but their test scores have been bad lately and I don’t know how to fix this issue. How can I make them try? On one level it’s up to them to put in that effort, but many are solidly not right now and seem pretty fine with that. Tips on how to address this?

    We’ve had a few class talks and I’ve spoken to kids individually but I don’t know whether I need to become a “mean teacher” or whether I should try to add more fun. They are sitting totally passively and not paying attention. If I give them group work, they waste time. If I cold call for answers, they’re not prepared. So it seems like I’m asking them to work silently a lot, but their assessments show they’re struggling.
  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
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    Feb 11, 2020

    I am not sure why, but this is the time of the year where I notice a decrease in effort. Call it "3rd quarter blues" or whatever. I find talking to certain students individually helps some. Talking to the whole class rarely works if the message is negative. I do find that the individual talks, along with getting a bit stricter, and contacting more parents do help this time of the year. I also try to increase giving individual praise and encouragement to those who are making good choices. I do this in private by their seats and not in front of the class.

    As far as fun goes, yes I kick it up a notch, but not too much. I always believe that my fun lessons should be divided up 10% in 1st quarter, 20% 2nd quarter, 30% 3rd quarter, and 40% 4th quarter. Like a runner, they lose a bit of energy throughout the year, and do need a bit of help, without lowering expectations. Good luck to you.
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  4. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

    Dec 25, 2016
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    Feb 12, 2020

    I don't have advice, but I can commiserate. What I really wanted to put on a few progress reports was simply, "We need to light a fire under him/her." I am changing some things up for novelty. Lit circles instead of rotations, math lessons presented as a challenge to figure it out instead of DI, etc. Hopefully it will help. But, let's face it - even many adults are feeling the 3rd quarter blues, as reading rules wisely called it. I haven't brought in goal setting, yet, but I probably should. It's hard to motivate this time of year!
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

    Jul 31, 2019
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    Feb 15, 2020

    I tried to see what grade you teach, but it just showed an error page. Since your goal is to reengage them, you might have to "pump up" the fun stuff to see if it will help. ( My 1st go to would be wanting to light that fire...lol)
    I noticed too if I reenergize myself, I could play off the: I have something really fun for you to learn today. ( It often works w/ young kids if you can maintain enthusiasm and the kids are 1/2 way normal. )
    Sometimes switching things up, starting competitions, giving more choices, bringing in something new helps get them back into the swing of things.
    I know cold call can get so frustrating when no1 is with you. I have gotten to the point where I'd say, we won't have to write all of this down if you can learn it this way ( a more fun way...)
    Often it works, but there will be some who will need to "write it all down" a few times before they catch on. Wishing you luck!
  6. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

    Jan 21, 2018
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    Feb 18, 2020

    Actually, I called it "The Cursed 3rd Quarter" where student's lose some motivation and start thinking about Spring.
    It really is not their fault. The 3rd quarter usually has limited days off from school and/or a very long gap of school days. Most of my students start to lose interest and grades start drastically slipping. A few years ago, I only gave/give a couple essential tests in reading and math. The remaining unit assessments were project-based. 4th quarter is a lot better because it is closer to the end of the school year and content tends to be easier (especially in my class, since I significantly decrease the homework load and focus more on remediation/finishing up topics for the final assessment).
    Honestly, it may be time to become the fun teacher more than ever. While strict expectations are great, this time...everyone just needs fun. I am talking 4th Quarter Party days, but am suggesting some more "Out of your seat....let's have an escape room day" type deal. I have even switched up lessons on the year at a glance curriculum guide to do some 3rd quarter lessons during the 2nd quarter and visa versa. 3rd quarter has the hardest content. This is my experience with 3rd quarter.

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